"Carlisle!" Jacob still called into the forest, begging for Grandpa to hear him. His voice sounded a little helpless; afraid to leave me here alone to go and get Grandpa, and also afraid if Grandpa couldn't come; if he was hunting somewhere. What would Jacob do then? The question went both ways; I needed Grandpa here and didn't know what we'd do if he couldn't hear us.
"Jacob!" I breathed a sigh of relief through the pain when I heard Granpa's anxious voice at the door. "What's happening here?" "I don't know!" Jacob's voice sounded wild with worry. "She won't talk to me!" Granpa knelt down next to me from where I was curled up on the couch. His cool fingers brushed my sweaty face. "Nessie? Sweetie? Can you tell me what's wrong?" I didn't know what it was exactly, but I had a pretty good guess. "Con...trac..tion," I managed to get through my clenched teeth. Another pain flashed through me and I yelled out. I saw Grandpa nodding out of the corner of my eye. "She's in labor," he told Jacob. "Can you lift her for me, please? Put her upstairs. I have to get my tools." He flashed out the door and Jacob scooped me up, trying to soothe me while shooting anxious, panicked glances out the windows, looking for Grandpa's return. He brushed the sweaty hair off my neck and face and murmurred to me. "It's okay, it's okay. Jeth and Jennifer just want to see us, that's all..." He entered our bedroom and put me on the bed. He adjusted the pillows behind my back and sat down next to me, massaging my shoulders. I sighed. "Thanks." The pain was getting easier to bear, now that I had had a couple contractions. "Is there anything else I can do?" Jacob asked. "No, I'm perfect!" I said, trying not to cringe so visibly when another contraction hit me. Jacob sighed but chuckled. "So tough and determined, just like your mom." I smiled at him, they looked away and pressed my lips in a thin line as another wave of pain came on. I looked back once it was over and noticed that the wild, crazy look was fading from Jacob's eyes. He looked more relaxed as we waited for Grandpa. He came back in a few minutes with his black leather bag full of tools. He set up a monitor next to the bed and asked me a few questions.
"How many contractions have you had so far?"
I counted back in my head. "Five," I said.
"When did you start to feel them?"
"About fifteen minutes ago."
He nodded. "It's close. The contractions are very close together, and she should only be in labor for another hour or so."
We sat in the bedroom for another forty-five minutes. The contractions were getting easier and easier to bear behind my excitement. I was going to be a mother! We were going to be parents!
Grandpa noticed a drastic change on the monitor when an hour was almost up. "Nessie, are you ready?" he asked. How could you be ready to bring two live humans into the world? I wondered. He put his rubber gloves on with a snap, and the sound made my stomach fall to my feet. I was suddenly so nervous that I felt all the pain, and it nearly sent me into a screaming fit. His calm voice and reassuring instructions, along with the warm pressure of Jacob's hand, got me through it all. In my head I was picturing my children in my arms, while I subconsciously did everything Grandpa told me to. A small, strangled cry brought me back. Grandpa held a squirming red infant in his arms and rubbed it down with clothes. He did the other one--I still couldn't tell which was which--and then wrapped them both in blankets for Jacob and I. We each held one. "Jennifer, Jeth," Grandpa said, first pointing to the one in my arms, then in Jacob's.
My babies were the most beautiful things I had ever seen. I noticed right away that Jennifer was a perfect mix of Jake and I. She blinked her large, lovely eyes at us and they were the same color as Jake's. Her face was more my structure, and the skin tone was a blend of russet and peaches and cream; a light copper. She smiled at me, a wide, wide smile, revealing two rows of perfect white teeth against the dark skin that reminded me so much of Jacob. Her hair was black with a reddish tint in the lamp light. She was beyond beautiful.
I leaned closer to Jacob to see Jeth. He was almost equally as balanced as Jennifer was, though I thought he looked a little more like Jacob. His skin was darker than Jennifer's, but his grin was more like mine. His hair was jet black and his eyes were black, but when they reflected in the light of the lamp, they showed a sparkle of brown. The contrast of teeth against skin was definetly Jacob, but the dimpled smile was all me.
Granpa was the first one to stop gawking. "Congratulations!" he said, giving us hugs. "You should be very happy." "I think that's an understatement," I told him grinning. I was beyond happy. I was on cloud nine! Jacob kissed my hair. "You did great," he told me. "And our kids are beyond beautiful." I just leaned into him, still holding my daughter, and closed my eyes for a minute, trying to let parenthood sink in.
"Thank-you, Carlisle," I heard Jacob murmur. "I don't know what I would have done without you." "It was my pleasure, Jacob. If anything comes up, just call. How are you feeling, Nessie? Are you tired?" I opened my eyes. "No. And I feel great! Perfect, actually." "Good," Grandpa smiled. "Um...since you're feeling so 'perfect'" he smiled at me, doubting me a little. "Do you mind if I do a couple tests on the babies? I'm dying to find out if they're more werewolf or vampire." I hadn't thought of that. "Of course." We handed the babies to Grandpa as he took out a few tools from his bag. I watched anxiously as he listened to their heart beat, looked at their mouths, took a small sample of spit from each of them, and, more horrifically of all, pricked their fingers for a drop of blood. When he pulled out the needle, he looked apologetically at me. "Sorry, Nessie." He jabbed Jeth's index finger first, then Jennifer's. I hid my face in Jacob's neck the entire time.
Finally all the results were available, and Grandpa told us his verdict. "Jennifer has a light, fluttery heartbeat, similar to Nessie's." He nodded towards me without looking up from his stack of papers. "Jeth's is more even like Jacob's. Jennifer also has a light coating of venom on her teeth, though Jeth's teeth are structured more like a vampire's. And Jeth's blood is very interresting. He has 40% human blood, and 60% werewolf, uh, genes. I'm not sure what to call it. But it's there, the wolfy side of him. I'd say that there's over an 85% chance that Jeth will be a werewolf as well. Jennifer has 70% human blood, and 30% werewolf genes. So there's a 30% chance that she'll be a werewolf as well." He looked at our faces, finally, measuring our reactions. We stared at him without speaking for a moment. "So they're healthy," I verified. "Oh, yes!" Grandpa said, smiling. "Very." "That's great then!" I turned to Jake. "You have a little wolf son!" "And Leah would love that 30% chance in Jennifer to come true," he chuckled. I agreed. Of course she would want that.
"Will you two be alright tonight?" Grandpa asked. "Or do you want Alice to come over?" I looked at Jacob and I think we both felt the same. "We'll be fine," he answered. Grandpa grinned. "I understand," he assured us. "I won't breathe a word until you're ready to tell everyone." He gathered his tools and bid us goodnight.
Jennifer was already asleep, but Jeth was more active. "Look at them," I whispered lovingly. "They're aboslutely gorgeous, aren't they?" "Yeah," Jacob agreed. "They're perfect." He kissed me for a minute until I broke off gasping. He laughed at me. "C'mon. Let's go put them to bed." We walked down the hall and opened the nursery door. Everything was just as perfect as we'd left it a few hours ago, and the room smelled a little like fresh paint and pine. We kissed our children goodnight and put them in their cribs. A cool breeze blew the curtains out, and Jeth's open eyes sparkled in the moonlight. Eventually we closed the door and went downstairs quietly.
"Hungry?" Jacob opened the fridge. "Starved!" I answered. He threw a bag of chips my way; I caught it neatly. I crunched into one with a happy sigh. It was nice to finally eat and not feel sick. It was nice to see my feet, too. Jacob sat next to me and put his arm around my shoulders. "How do you feel?" "Awesome," I said. "It's great to not be pregnant. Though I do miss it a little." "You miss the extra twenty pounds you've been carrying around?" he verified. "Actually, I think I do." He laughed. "Strange." I punched him.
"So we're parents," he said a little later. "I'm having a hard time believing that." "Me, too," I said. "But it's true. Our flesh and blood are sleeping right there, upstairs." I pointed towards the stairs. "How do you feel about them maybe being wolves someday?" I looked at him cautiously. His happy expression turned dark and stormy. "Well I'm not thrilled," he said. "I hate to think of them growing up so fast, their ages screwed up, hardly sleeping, living uncomfortably in the woods all the time..." "Jake," I whispered, touching his arm. "We won't let it be like that. We'll make sure they sleep at home and we'll feed them plenty. Besides, it's not definate. There's a chance that it'll pass them over." "Yeah, a slim one," Jacob said coldy. "I don't like being a werewolf, not at this particular moment at least. And it's the last thing I want my kids to suffer over. Let them live a normal life, for crying out loud!" He was shaking the whole couch with the tremors rocking down his body. I shook my head and put a hand on his trembling arm. "It'll be okay," I said. But the images were already in my head. The twins, taller than Jacob, wearing tattered clothes and lying on the cold dirt floor of the woods, along with Sam and Jacob and Seth. The trees were white with snow, and a few had icicles on them. Jeth stood and began to run, phasing into a russet wolf just like his father. He collided with something white--a vampire, I realized--and the sound was like two boulders knocking together. There were a few growls and ripping sounds, and Jeth the wolf phased back and lied on the ground, unconscious, blood spurting from various wounds on his body. I quickly yanked my hand from Jake's arm when I realized he could see exactly what I was thinking. He turned slowly to face me, his eyes dangerous and black. I flinched. Yes, wolves had to go against vampires, it was their nature. So how would Jeth and Jennifer feel in a whole housefull of them, forbidden to attack? But Jacob was friends with our vampires. It had taken some effort, but he was. Would Jeth and Jennifer have to work so hard? I shook my head again.
"There's also the plus side of being a werewolf," I said quickly. Jacob was still trembling and his outline was starting to blur. "For one, the speed. You love that. I'm sure Jeth and Jennifer will, too. You can all race together in the woods. And another, they'll both be super strong like you. None of my weakness." He looked at me and the shaking slowed. His eyes widened a little. "Okay, you're right. There's only a chance; nothing is definate. But I am worried..." "Well don't be!" I said, exasperated. "Worry about it when the time comes. It'll be fine. We're together in this, remember?" I took his hand. he sighed. "Right. Together." He kissed me deeply and swept me up into his arms. He walked carefully upstairs, his lips still attached to mine, and closed the door to the bedroom behind us.